Dr. Rob Bell true success is

True success is doing this skill

Duke basketball fans have one of the most indelible student sections in all of sports: The Cameron Crazies.

They epitomize passion, organization, and wittiness. They camp out in Krzyzewskiville for three months prior to games, they hand out cheat sheets for the student cheers and were the ones that coined the now famous “air-ball” chant.

So, Can you imagine that the Cameron crazies once actually cheered for an opposing player?

During one game in 1995, Joe Smith of the Maryland Terrapins was unstoppable. He scored 40 points, had 18 rebounds, and had a tip-in basket as time expired to beat Duke, 94-92.

At the end of the game, after they lost, they truly applauded Joe Smith!

True success is being able to root for everyone.

However, instead, we feel threatened by others having success, because somehow it means that we can’t be successful too.

Inter-team conflicts are based on the belief that success is limited. Therefore, we operate on the actions that not only do I need to be the best that I can be, but remove any obstacle in that path, including anyone vying for my position or record.

We sadly perpetuate this notion and create a culture of it.

Whenever we call out someone, put down a coach, or another company, we are doing so based out of fear. I hate it when I notice that I’m rooting against someone or envious of other’s success. It’s just based out of a fear that I won’t reach my own goals. I’m aware of it, but it still happens from time to time. 

When we root for others, it means that we are confident. It shows that we are secure enough to actually wish the best for others. That’s what true success is!

When I post this philosophy online, I’ll get questions like ‘even the Yankees?” No way, success does not mean rooting for the Yankees. 🙂

It also doesn’t mean that we have to cheer or root for our direct competition. It just means that we should look for opportunities to cooperate, cross-promote, and learn from each other.

True success is rooting for everyone which also means wanting to beat people at their best!  I hate it when people make excuses for losing because it tries to take away the winner’s success. We should want them to play well, but just for us to perform a little bit better. It doesn’t take away from our own drive or hating to lose.

We actually need others to succeed so we know what we have to do in order to improve.

A funny thing happens when others around us have success. It cements the belief in ourselves that it is possible to reach the next level. If everyone around us was mediocre, what models do we have to get better?

We need coaches to teach us, co-workers to support us, and opponents to test us. That’s why no one gets there alone. 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. 

Check out the film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness . 

If you ever listen to a creaky door or gate, it’s not the door or gate at all. It’s the Hinge! So ,what happens when the Hinge becomes Rusty? Chances are that we got away from what got us here, our focus and confidence changed. The Hinge connected, but we let it get rusty…

Here is a 3-minute video on how to prevent the Hinge from getting Rusty! 

The Rusty Hinge

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The Hinge-The Importance of Mental Toughness Dr. Rob BellDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology coach. DRB & Associates based in Indianapolis works with professional athletes & corporate athletes, coaches, and teams building their Mental Toughness.  His 2nd book is titled The Hinge: The Importance of Mental Toughness. Follow on twitter @drrobbell  or contact

Check out the new film & e-book, NO FEAR: A simple guide to mental toughness 

dr. rob bell Notre DameThe weekend was planned, Friday night, my family and I went to the Notre Dame football pep rally, visited the locker-room (touched the famous sign) and went on the field. Friday was incredible!

Saturday, we were going to the Notre Dame game versus North Carolina. All set! Now, my children are 6 & 4 years old, not exactly pre-game connoisseurs and we were staying on a lake about 30 minutes outside of South Bend. So we planned to arrive at 1:00 (game is at 3:30), watch the player walk, listen to the band & the trumpets play in the main hall, visit the grotto, etc.  All awesome traditions.

We parked, walked about 15 minutes and arrived in time to settle in & watch the player walk! I spy a guy selling tickets and then it hits me! I FORGOT THE TICKETS!

One rule I think in life, is that you don’t forget the tickets!!!! It’s basically the only thing you need to remember going to a game.


ANGER was my initial reaction, it always is when I mess up. I hate it. I frankly despise that part of me. But, it was my reaction, not my response!  My reaction is usually incorrect, because it is filled with emotion. Our response on the other hand is often correct.

BLAME was my 2nd knee-jerk reaction. I turned to my wife looking for someone to blame. I stopped this pretty quickly, because I knew it wasn’t her fault. Although I did mention earlier that she should be in charge of the tickets.

DECISION-MAKING time followed and quick. There was honestly no time to waste! Do we all walk 15 minutes back and then drive to get the tickets, or do the wife & kids stay? Very quickly, we decided. Let’s all go, stay together, we are a team.

STAY COMPOSED I thought.  Now, when one has kids, everything is magnified. Travel, messes, and especially stress levels. As a parent of two, the stress levels automatically increase a notch in general because there are just more things to take care of. At this moment, I was extremely aware of my kids! I must maintain composure because I do not want to model the behavior of losing it in front of them. I threw my son on my shoulders and tried to enjoy the walk back, while FUMING inside!

ANGER returned soon thereafter and this time it was directed inward. This emotion lasted much longer and manifested itself with my own verbal self-talk OUT LOUD! I (for some reason) needed to have this verbal boxing match out in the open and not just inside my own head. We are driving back and I am berating myself out loud (the kids have their headphones on watching a movie).

Here is a sample of some of the kind words I spoke: “You piece of shit”, “what is wrong with you”, “how could you be so stupid” “You call yourself a human being”? All top-notch affirmations!

After 10 minutes, I asked my wife, “Do you have anything to offer to this conversation I am having with myself?” She said, “what would you tell your athletes or coaches?”

I said  “Do the next right thing”, “Let it go”,”Re-focus”  and “rely on the fact that this happened for a reason”!  After that I was good, almost completley back emotionally. We arrived back to the stadium just in time to walk in and watch our 1st Notre Dame game. Now, I don’t know the reason why I forgot the tickets, maybe it prevented an accident? We will never know because “what-if” never happened. IMG_4360

What did I learn? 

It reinforced that we are human, we are going to make mistakes. It’s all how we respond to the situation and not how we react. People often fear the blame more than the actual mistakes as well! The situation and reaction all taught me more about myself and how I can grow as a person and as a coach. “That which hurts, instructs.” – Ben Franklin

Lastly & most importantly- What if it had been my wife who forgot the tickets? Would I have been able to extend grace and compassion onto her, or would my anger have been directed outwardly? Coaching and loving on others requires grace, sometimes extra grace is required for ourselves.

Click here to subscribe to my Friday Mental Toughness newsletter…

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kid: Build Their Mental Toughness   

The Importance of Models for Mental Toughness


One shot is the reason why the LPGA is currently dominated by Korean golfers. The Hinge moment was by Se RI Pak during the 1998 U.S. Open and she became a model for others, namely Korean girls.

Click on the picture for the video…

Importance of Models


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent book on Mental Toughness- Don’t Should on Your Kids: Build Their Mental Toughness   

Light Bulb Graphic


hate ourselves to success

Can We Hate Ourselves to Success?

Yes, It works! And it is powerful!

Although I don’t have research to support this notion, HATE is probably the strongest motivator of all… Many successful people were driven and consumed by this over-arching motivation to prove others wrong! 

The hatred manifests itself with a belief that “I’m not good enough,” or ”It’s never good enough.” All perfectionists have this mentality. 

Future Hall of Fame linebacker, Ray Lewis, was driven by bitterness because his father was never around. As a kid, he would do push-ups and sit-ups until he passed out, as a way to deal with the pain.

This mentality of “never being good enough” and hatred is driven by a rage and burning desire to be successful, no matter what. 

Work Harder! Strive Harder!

Unfortunately, this hatred is toxic and it will never lead to happiness. We can’t hate ourselves    and live our lives successfully. 

The sad part is that to hate ourselves to success is temporary and WILL easily turn upon itself and become directed inward. It leaves hate lingering around and doesn’t go anywhere until a new target shows up. It ends up like a torpedo shot from a submarine, which starts looking for any target.

Anger directed inward becomes depression.

The motivation it takes to hate ourselves to success is skewed. The unquenchable desire for success is that we just don’t like ourselves and we are not good enough. Our belief is that the only way we can become good enough is through our achievement. Life teaches us that we are actually going to lose more than we are ever going to win, and when we win, it’s not for very long.

Even the best athletes at the pinnacle of their success, winning a super bowl, Masters, or US Open can feel lacking…Bernhard Langer after winning the 1985 Masters stated, “I had just won the Masters, I’m driving to Hilton Head with my beautiful young wife, and I felt empty.”

Now, not many will admit that they don’t like themselves. It requires too much rigorous honesty.

The alternative is more difficult and actually requires more work, because we hate ourselves for not being good enough our entire life. It’s all we know!

We are often the hanging judge after mistakes and setbacks would pass sentence, “off with our head.” I mean we would never talk to our loved ones the way we would actually talk to ourselves and that’s because we still hate ourselves. 

The only way to not hate ourselves is to not judge ourselves and know our true identity! 

The solution is the realization that we are good enough, we are sanctified, and we are righteous. Not by anything that we have done, but through the love of God for us and allowing his son to accept all of our shortcomings, past, present, and future.

We can then begin to operate from a different set of beliefs. It doesn’t mean the striving ends, but the motivation now stems from a different place and one where we can make a lasting impact and one of significance.

Which mentality are you?

Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out the most recent books on Mental Toughness- 

sport psychology coach

me caddying PGA Tour

My Worst Mistake As A Sport Psychology Coach 

I’ve been in the applied field of Sport Psychology as a professional since 2006.  I started off as a University professor, until I became a full-time professional mental coach, leaving academia to pursue my passion and start my own business. That year was 2011. I’ve been blessed and have even written seven mental game books during the span of nine years. 

I work with athletes helping them build their mental toughness to perform their best when it matters the most. Hence, we have to know what mental toughness is and what it isn’t. 

My philosophy is that EVERYONE is an athlete, our office is just different. 

My major type of clients are golfers on the PGA Tour, and I have caddied on tour since 2006. Caddying was a natural fit because it was a way to morph into an “on the field” coach during actual competition; no better feeling in my opinion.

In 2012, I am caddying for my client during the last PGA Tour event of the year. He is playing well, and in first place after a first round score of 66. And although he moved back a bit during the other rounds, he still had a chance to post a top-20 finish.

Fifteen minutes before each round, we always had a coach-up session, where we devised our mental and course game plan. Every day we had the same simple mental game plan because simple is powerful and simple works. Thus, before the last round, he approached me and I laid it out for him (hence the big mistake).

In the past I have used the following game plan and mentality, and it has been successful, so I wasn’t freewheeling my decision as a sport psychology coach at all.

However, there is a lot of intuition with coaching and sometimes coaxing.

So, when he asked, “what’s our game plan,” I replied with, “It’s your day.”

He walked away immediately shaking his head in disapproval and mentioned how he didn’t really like it and asked if I had anything else?

So, now ten minutes before tee-time, I tried to justify, defend, and explain my mantra…. What else am I going to say at that point, “It’s NOT your day?” I said it, believing that good things were going to happen and staying with our process that had worked. 

He teed off and proceeded to hit the ball in a hazard, took a drop, hit it in the middle of the green, and 3-putted for a double bogey. Immediate adversity had set in. Walking onto the 2nd tee, he mentioned to me “yep, it’s my day, all right.”

Only after a delay in the middle of the fourth fairway, did we have a chance to backtrack and re-focus. He played solid the rest of the day, but in a sport with large purses and where every shot counts, the damage had been done.

It’s Your Day!

The mistake I made as a sport psychology coach was that I “got in the way” of my athlete.

Perhaps, I inadvertently put the focus on factors outside of his control, believing that it was going to be a good day and that good things were going to happen. I also couldn’t account for the fact that he had heard this phrase a long time ago and played horribly.

Nonetheless, I made a mistake. Less is (almost) always more and I broke it. I tried to get creative and go off menu with my coaching style at the moment.

It’s still a fault of mine; there are many tools in the shed and I want to use them all, when just one would do. It takes a genius to keep it simple.

Lastly, it was a costly mistake and if we are in a field of coaching and helping people, we are going to make mistakes.

It is one true system of really discovering what methods work and what doesn’t in applied settings. If you’d like to hear the sport psychology coach podcast episode, check it out here. 


dr rob bell speakerDr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. DRB & associates coach executives and professional athletes. Some clients have included three different winners on the PGA Tour, Indy Eleven, University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens.